If you often find yourself hiding your teeth or covering your mouth when you talk or laugh out of embarrassment or feelings of self-consciousness, then aesthetic dentistry may be for you.
Aesthetic dentistry combines art and science to create only the best result from aesthetic, functional, and biological standpoints. Dentists and oral health therapists who practice this form of treatment takes a good look at a patient’s dental problem and, from there, provides the optimum solution for both his oral health and function — all while achieving a beautifully naturally appearance.
Though cosmetic dentistry is the more popular term for dental work done that aims to improve a smile’s appearance, it is, in fact, very different.
Cosmetic vs. Aesthetic Dentistry
Aesthetic and cosmetic are two terms used to describe dental practices that promise a beautiful and healthy smile. While they are often used interchangeably, there are some major differences that set them apart.
Aesthetic dentistry is all about natural beauty. Aesthetic dentists and oral health therapists make use of specific techniques with one goal in mind: to give patients the best set of teeth, in terms of beauty, functionality, and health. Some of the most common aesthetic dental procedures include crowns, dental fillings, and teeth repair/restoration.
Cosmetic dentistry, on the other hand, is accentuating the teeth’s natural beauty. Cosmetic dentists use more advanced and invasive methods to help patients achieve white, straight, and picture-perfect teeth. Some of the most common cosmetic dental procedures include dental veneers, implants, and bridgework.
Getting cosmetic or aesthetic dental work done largely depends on one’s needs. And to make sure that they get to keep the look that they want, most people usually end up using both throughout their lifetime.
Why Seek Aesthetic Dentistry?
While some people are blessed with a naturally stunning set of teeth, many seek out aesthetic dental treatments to achieve just that — and more.
Knowing how oral diseases can affect our overall wellbeing, many people seek aesthetic dentistry to prevent oral health problems that can lead to serious health problems like digestive issues, and respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. Some do it to fight bad habits like smoking and eating a lot of sweets, while others simply want to look good — mostly because when you look good, you feel good; and when you feel good, you do great things.
Aesthetic dentistry sure can be life-changing. And if you just give yourself a chance, you might just find out that you actually make a good candidate.
The Good Candidate
Anyone whose oral health is generally good but would like to have a better natural smile can be a candidate for aesthetic dentistry. Some of the optimal candidates, however, include:
- Anyone with minor aesthetic imperfections like cracks, chips, discolourations, and gapped or mildly crooked teeth
- Non-smokers, with teeth and gums in relatively good health
If you are unsure, many aesthetic dental practitioners including dentists and oral health therapists will be more than happy to give you a full assessment to determine whether you make a good candidate for aesthetic dental treatments. What are some of the options, anyway?
Most Common Aesthetic Dental Treatments
Whether you have been putting up with a bothersome dental flaw or experiencing a natural wear that occurs with age, there are quite a few affordable and effective aesthetic dentistry treatments for all ages.
- Teeth Whitening. Due to our diet and lifestyle, it is common for most people to lose that white, shiny colour in their teeth. Add the lack of proper oral hygiene, and the colour can easily develop into a dingy yellow tint. Teeth whitening helps reverse the stains and discolouration, and restores brightness to your smile.
- Procedure: The dentist or oral health therapist cleans and polishes the teeth to remove plaque. From there, he or she applies the whitening solution and activates this with a curing light or laser. A special fluoride gel may sometimes be applied to reduce sensitivity.
- Result: A set of teeth that can go up to 10 shades lighter in a single dental visit and a session that only takes about an hour.
- Dental Bonding. Ideal for making minor dental repairs, dental bonding is an incredibly simple treatment that can make a chipped, misshapen, or broken tooth look like new again. Using special composite materials, an aesthetic dentist or oral health therapist can mimic the look, feel, and function of natural teeth.
- Procedure: The dentist or oral health therapist selects a colour of the composite material that best matches your natural teeth. He then places the filler where necessary, and hardens it with an ultraviolet curing light.
- Result: A repaired tooth that, depending on the size and filling location, can last for 7-10 years.
- Dental Crowns. A dental crown is a “cap” that can be placed over an existing tooth to restore its natural appearance. A great option for those with cracked, damaged, or discoloured teeth, dental crowns are commonly molded out of a porcelain material that replicates the translucent qualities of real enamel.
- Procedure: The dentist fits the crown molding and takes the impression of the tooth. Once done, he or she applies the permanent crown to the affected tooth, and cements it in place so there is no need for future replacements.
- Result: A strong tooth that blends seamlessly with your smile and can last for 5-10 years.
Aesthetic dental work can be advantageous for anyone. And while the results are often subtle, the benefits are never limited to just your teeth; they also extend to your overall health.
Health Benefits of Aesthetic Dentistry
Aesthetic dentistry is never just about the aesthetics; it’s about getting a healthy set of natural teeth that functions properly, allowing you to always look and feel your best. So, how exactly do you benefit from it?
For one, aesthetic dentistry can immediately get you on the road to better oral hygiene. When you invest in getting your teeth cleaned, whitened, or treated, you are instinctively motivated to maintain the results. Some people do it by changing their eating and drinking habits; others, by developing a good daily oral health routine.
Another benefit is an improved appetite. When your teeth are at their healthiest — no cracks, no chips, and no cavities — eating becomes more comfortable and enjoyable, and biting and chewing becomes less of a chore. When your teeth are straightened to the ideal alignment, you free yourself from chronic headaches and tooth pain that can range from mildly discomforting to downright intrusive. And when you are especially committed to taking good care of your teeth, you ultimately avoid dental problems that could affect your whole mouth and compromise your overall wellbeing.
And as if these benefits are not enough, aesthetic dentistry can make a world of difference not just to your confidence but also to your self-esteem and drive, both socially and professionally.
Now it’s easy to get dental care; but finding an aesthetic dentist and oral health therapist who understands your goals and offers the best solutions to help you achieve them sure isn’t and can be an overwhelming process all on its own.
Choosing an Aesthetic Dentist and Oral Health Therapist
While many dentists and oral health therapists are equipped to perform at least a few types of aesthetic dentistry, choosing the right one — someone with a breadth of expertise and substantial experience, and has a gentle approach, careful attention to detail, and the desire to meet your wants and needs — is key to achieving the results you desire.
And so before making major oral health decisions, you owe it to yourself to consider the following factors:
- Extensive hands-on training. It’s always best to consider your dental practitioner’s qualifications and experience. Besides the completion of dental school, knowing about their areas of expertise, as well continued education, helps ensure that you are choosing someone who is backed by extensive hands-on training and knowledge.
- Extensive smile design experience. Most people either rely on their long-time family dentist and oral health therapist, or they go online and see the first dental practitioner they can find. If it’s simply a matter of convenience, think again. Aesthetic dentistry is an art, and the right aesthetic dentist and oral health therapist has to have performed enough complex smile design cases to achieve a certain level of mastery.
- A modern approach. A modern approach to dentistry is usually a sign that your dentist and oral health therapist invests time in the latest training and technology, and actively makes sure that he or she offers the most up-to-date treatment possible. The industry, after all, is constantly evolving, and staying on top of the latest techniques and developments shows outstanding levels of commitment to patients.
- Before-and-After photos. When it comes to getting a clear understanding of an aesthetic dentist’s and oral health therapist’s abilities, you can never go wrong with before-and-after photos. While a dentist and oral health therapist may have all the accolades in the industry, you won’t truly know the extent of what he or she can do until you see the work they have done on previous patients.
- Payment Options. Not every insurance company will cover this type of dentistry, and so it’s good to know upfront what the fees will be, if your insurance is going to be accepted, and if the dentist and oral health therapist offers a payment plan.
It starts with you. And while this requires a lot of work and research, you are guaranteed to get the best and highest in quality care. Take your time, and you will be sure to find an aesthetic dentist and oral health therapist worthy of your confidence and trust.
If you are seeking an aesthetic dentist and oral health therapist, then Coburg Hill Oral Care would be happy to help. Our team of dental experts can solve any oral health problem that you may have. Contact our dental office today to schedule an aesthetic dental consultation.